Kuwait endorses Al Zayani as next GCC secretary general

August 10, 2010

Kuwait has endorsed the nomination of Bahraini candidate Abdul Lateef Al Zayani to the position of secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a Kuwaiti daily said.

According to Al Watan, a source at the Kuwaiti foreign ministry confirmed Kuwait’s support to the nominee. The newspaper did not name the source.

The Kuwaiti conformation would be the first public support of Bahrain’s new nominee after Qatar opposed the nomination of Mohammad Al Mutawa, the former information minister, despite the public support of the other GCC members.

Qatar reportedly rejected Al Mutawa for his positions and statements as information minister when Doha and Manama were entangled in a bitter dispute over their borders and over the Hawar islands.

The dispute was eventually settled by the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 2001 and both countries accepted the verdict.

Despite pledges to start a new chapter in their bilateral relations and to construct the world’s longest causeway between them, the two countries have had to face challenges that included agreeing on the new secretary general of the GCC, starting work on the causeway and the regular arrest of Bahrain-based fishermen who stray into Qatari waters.

Bahrain eventually withdrew the nomination of Al Mutawa after Saudi Arabia intervened to calm the issue and named instead Al Zayani, the former head of public security.

Al Zayani, a distinguished military graduate, was also the GCC deputy secretary general for military affairs.

His nomination will need the approval of all six GCC countries that will officially designate him at their next summit in Abu Dhabi. The new secretary general will replace Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah, a Qatari national, in April.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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